With the trade deadline just two days away, we’ve heard numerous rumors about who the Knicks are currently targeting. Dejounte Murray, Malcolm Brogdon, Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, and Bruce Brown have all been floated around as guys we could see wearing a Knicks jersey sooner rather than later. And on Monday, we heard a new name being linked to New York.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo, the Knicks have “legitimate interest” in PJ Washington, though he did make it a point to note that the interest wasn’t as strong as it is for the aforementioned Brown.
Washington, a 25-year-old forward on the Charlotte Hornets, is currently averaging 13.8 PPG and 5.2 RPG while shooting 45.2% from the field. Washington is shooting a career-low 33.3% from three but he is a career 36.1% shooter from deep. Washington has also shown some defensive promise in the past showing the ability to be a versatile, switchy defender when at his best.
And even though some of his numbers aren’t the prettiest, there is a chance that a change of scenery could reignite Washington's career. Maybe playing with Jalen Brunson can help bring his shooting numbers back up and maybe under the tutelage of Thibodeau, Washington can find his footing on defense again. If so, he could provide the Knicks with some much-needed front-court depth while Julius Randle recovers from his shoulder injury.
That said, it’s hard to see this as anything more than the Knicks doing their due diligence. PJ is currently posting the second-worst defensive rating among qualifying power forwards in the league this year with a mark of 121.4, he has struggled to find any real consistency from three, and he doesn’t really fit the timeline of the current Knicks.
If New York can find a way to get a trade done without sending away Quentin Grimes or any first-round picks, it could be fun to see them take a flier on a former lottery pick. But if not, it just doesn’t make much sense right now.